With reference to a Hindu wedding ceremony, describe and explain the various points of meaning.
Ritual is vital within the Indio religion. If ritual is conducted correctly, great karma follows and if not really, the opposite is going to occur. There are whole books dedicated to habit such as the Veda, the oldest scripture on the globe. Key factors in making the right match are the partner becoming Hindu, as well preferably from your same caste and suitable horoscopically. As well, the horoscopes show the actual best particular date for the wedding to take place is definitely.
Although India is a large country and weddings vary, most key points are shared. In India the wedding itself would be at the bride’s home but in England a hall is booked. In preparation for the wedding, henna is used to decorate her hands and feet lasting many weeks symbolising her entry into her marriage. A red spot is painted called a ’tilaka’ showing she has been blessed by god.
She is wearing a red sari, the colour of happiness, with gold jewellery, the best she can afford and black paint around her eyes called kajal. The groom gives her a ring that she wears on her toe. The groom will wear a kurta-pajana; a lose fitting top and trousers and a veil of beads. The bride and groom’s parents will worship Ganesh and the family deities asking them to be present at the wedding and make sure everything goes to plan.
Throughout the ceremony itself the priest keeps a fire burning by pouring ghee into the flames symbolising the presence of the Gods. He also throws rice and spices into the fire symbolising fertility. The bride offers puja to the deities and then goes into a separate room to offer private worship to Parvati and Shiva asking for a long marriage and children, preferably sons. When the groom arrives at the place of the wedding, the bride’s mother and the priest meet him at the entrance with a ‘sacred light’ to ward off any evil spirits. The priest prays to Vishnu and Lakshmi and together, the priest and bride’s mother lead the groom into the place of the wedding. The bride’s dad then gives him honey symbolising a sweet welcome and the priest recites a mantra from the Yajur-Veda. The bride’s family ‘give her away’ to the groom’s family.
This can be compared to the Christian Wedding in which the bride’s father gives her way to the groom, the difference being, Hindu weddings are not just about the people getting married, but also each of their families who are as much involved. The bride and groom stand facing each other while the priest ties cloth around groom’s neck and attaches it to bride’s sari representing unity. Then blessings are sung and the guests shower rice over the couple. The father of the bride then places her right hand into the palm of the groom. The father then asks the groom to follow his dharma -religious duty, artha -earning money in an honest manner and karma -the enjoyment of pleasures, with moderation. The groom says to the bride ‘I hold your hand in the spirit of the dharma we are both husband and wife’.
The wife then steps onto a stone. This symbolises her decision to try to get though all problems they may come across throughout their marriage. Then the couple takes seven steps around the sacred fire (saptapadi); this is essential according to the Law Code of Manu. Each step represents a different thing: food, power, prosperity, wisdom, children, health and friendship. While taking these steps the husband says to the wife ‘With utmost love to each other may we walk together¦May we make our minds united, of the same vows and of the same thoughts. I am the wind and you are the melody. I am the melody and you are the words’ and on the last step the couple say in unison ‘Into my will I take thy heart. Thy heart shall follow mine. And the heart of mine be yours’.
The bride’s bothers pour barley into the couples’ hands that are then poured into the scared fire symbolising the fact that they will work together for the benefit of society. The husband then marks his wife’s parting with red kum-kum powder. -This is the sign of a married woman. The groom places a black necklace called a mangalsutra around the bride’s neck representing the union between the two families. Also, black beads are used to ward off evil spirits. If the wedding is in daytime the couple will look at the sun to be blessed, if it is night-time they will look at the Polestar, asking that their love will shine as bright and last as long. Elders and the priest ending the ceremony then bless the couple and the guests then take part in a huge feast.
When the wife enters her husband’s house for the first time she must kick over a metal pot of grain into the house symbolising prosperity. Finally, the bride is given a new first name showing her new beginning.
1) ii) In a Hindu society what activities, arrangements, and advertisements might eventually lead to a marriage?
According to Hindu scriptures, basically, you must not search for your own partner, and when you do want a partner it must be the one your family arranges for you to marry. Therefore strictly speaking courtship is not to be done. In the past, matches have been made between two people before they were even born. Child marriage would often take place, and still does although it has been made illegal. The legal age of marriage in India is 18 for girls and 21 for boys. Because of this law being passed, the people in question now have more choice in their partner.
When looking for a suitable partner, usually, the person in question’s parents will begin their search by telling their friends who will then circulate the news to other families, telling them details of looks, varna, age, caste, education, financial situation and if it is a more modern arrangement, personality and interests.
In the past, the man would visit the girl’s house and she would come in with her eyes downcast for a few seconds and then leave again. In these more modern times, both families will meet and sit down to talk about it.
If the two people seem compatible serious negotiations will take place. Both families will get their family priests to study the horoscopes of the two people and if they match, a suitable date for the wedding may be chosen. Then the two families may agree to let them ‘court’ with restrictions.
If a suitable partner cannot be found, the family may decide to turn to placing an advertisement in the newspaper, or turn to an agency. Advertisements in papers for brides or grooms are very common in India.
Sometimes someone will meet somebody they would like to marry at college, work, or a similar environment. Because the majority of the time someone is attracted to another person with the same kind of background, their parents will approve of the marriage because the person chosen has come from the same caste etc.
If a match is decided, a dowry must be agreed. -This is an illegal practice, but is still sometimes done. A dowry is a payment given to the groom’s family by the bride’s family because the groom’s family now has to look after and pay for the bride. Because of the wedding’s expense, the bride may find it quite difficult to get together enough money to pay what the groom has asked for and the marriage may therefore be called off. Some Hindu families now demand dowry free weddings.
Finally, once all has been agreed, the wedding will take place.
2) a) Explain why, from a religious perspective
i) it is considered important for a Hindu to marry a Hindu
Within the Hindu religion it is considered very important for a Hindu to marry another Hindu. The main reason for this is because marriage in Hinduism is not seen as a lifestyle choice but a duty and religious stage of life, from ‘student’, the first ashrama, to ‘householder’, the second ashrama according to the Varna-ashrama-dharma. When married, a Hindu has the opportunity to achieve three goals:
>A release from all basic human desires through marriage and having children.
>A contribution to society though hard work.
>The duty of carrying out whatever demands his particular caste places upon him.
The 13th saskara is reached when a Hindu marries. Marriage in Hinduism is quite obviously a religious action. Therefore in not marrying a Hindu, you cannot easily for-fill these tasks given to you.
You can preserve the purity of your religion and caste by marrying in the traditional way.
By marrying a Hindu, you will have your horoscopes compared, will have the same religious state of mind, and are therefore compatible.
If two Hindus marry, the families will get along and there will be no feuds.
You will keep your parents happy by marrying a fellow Hindu in the correct manner. If you do not, there may be a major disagreement in which your family may not ever fully forgive you. They may even believe that in abandoning the correct tradition of marriage, you are abandoning the Hindu religion.
If you marry a Hindu you will gain respect from the Hindu society whereas if you don’t there may be a lot of disrespect and gossip about you.
Your children will be brought up to believe the Hindu faith and will not be confused of which parent religion he or she should follow. He or she will learn all the correct rituals. The eldest son will light his father’s funeral pyre as Hinduism states.
The Hindu marriage, as shown in question one, is full of symbolism and if this ritual is formed correctly good karma will follow. In fact large parts of Hinduism itself are all about ritual and tradition. So if you do not marry a Hindu, all this will be lost, bad Karma will follow and you will never be released from samara, the series of births, deaths and re-births and atman will never be rejoined with Brahmin. -This is a Hindu’s main goal and therefore it is essential to marry a Hindu.
ii) being married is important in Hindu society
Being married is important in the Hindu society. This is because marriage in Hinduism is not seen as a lifestyle choice but a duty and religious stage of life, from ‘student’, the first ashrama, to ‘householder’, the second ashrama according to the Varna-ashrama-dharma. When married, a Hindu has the opportunity to achieve three goals:
>A release from all basic human desires through marriage and having children.
>A contribution to society though hard work.
>The duty of performing whatever demands his particular caste areas upon him.
The 13th saskara is definitely reached if a Hindu seamlessly puts together. Marriage in Hinduism is very obviously a religious action. For that reason in not marrying, it really is impossible to for-fill your dharma.
By having a Indio marriage effectively good karma will follow. Large parts of Hinduism itself are all about ritual and custom. So if you tend not to marry, all this will be dropped, bad Karma will follow and you will probably never be released coming from samara, the series of births, deaths and re-births and atman will never be rejoined with Brahmin. -This is a Hindu’s main goal and for that reason it is essential to get married to.
iii) it is crucial to consult with every members of the family if the marriage has been arranged.
It is important to consult most members of the family each time a marriage will be arranged. The main reason for this happens because when a marriage takes place is not merely between the groom and bride but both families as well.
Also by simply asking most members of the family you can ensure a fantastic match in marriage.
Should anything go wrong wrong it will have shame upon the as well as therefore most must be conferred with.
2) b) Explain the response of Hinduism for the moral challenges of courtship.
According to Hindu scriptures, basically, you must not search for the own partner, and when you need to do want a partner it must be the one your family arranges for you to get married to. Therefore strictly speaking courtship is not to be done. Romance, customarily was only for the Gods. There are certain exceptions however , as Hinduism has received to change while using times and turn into more flexible and acceptant of modern practices.
For instance, once an arranged marital life has been opted for and the few are involved they can declare it and can therefore honestly walk in the road holding hands and visit the cinema or perhaps such like unaccompanied without being gossiped about simply by Hindu society. They may not really sleep collectively or valerse in collectively before relationship though. This is because according to the Varna-ashrama-dharma sex is fixed to the householder stage of life and must not be performed in any of the other three stages of life.
3) In Hinduism, relationships are arranged. Do you consent or differ with the system? Give causes of your response. Why might a Indio agree or perhaps disagree with you?
Although ‘love marriages’ have grown to be more common inside Hinduism, the vast majority of time, father and mother arrange all their children’s marriages for them. Marriage is certainly not seen as a great optional way of life extra although a religious level in life and so it is said that you should love the one particular you marry, not get married to the one you love.
Elders are considered older and therefore wiser plus more experienced while their children happen to be said to be premature and do not understand enough regarding the world to make a sound choice when it comes to lifestyle partners.
However, if your father and mother make the wrong match therefore you and your partner have an entire personality conflict once your married you must spend the rest of your life looking to grow to love someone that you really don’t get on with.
A Hindu would dispute then that your horoscopes are compatible together with your partners and so why wouldn’t you get along?
If you allow your family arrange your marriage for you, you can expect to make them completely happy.
If you do not, there might be a major disagreement in which your loved ones may not ever before fully forgive you. They could even assume that in leaving the custom of established marriages, you are leaving the Indio religion.
For those who have an established marriage you can gain respect from the Indio society while if you don’t there might be a lot of disrespect and gossip about who you are.
I feel an essential aspect of a relationship is definitely trust. A problem that may come up when marring someone that you do not know everything well is that the two of you probably will not instantly trust one another and the marriage will suffer because of it. Likewise, sexually, you never know one another yet are required to instantly have a wholesome sex life while oppose to gently reducing into this stuff. You may experience awkward in being physical with somebody you do not have sound trust in.
For arranged partnerships, a person searching for the right partner: ‘the one’ might never find this person. -This person might not exist. When you have an organized marriage you understand you will have a marriage and not spend half of your life looking for a husband/wife.
With the wedding ceremony itself, there are plenty of traditional representational gestures that must be performed and little space left intended for individuality.
Alternatively a Indio marriage abounds with symbolism and if this routine is formed effectively good karma will follow. In reality large areas of Hinduism alone are all about ritual and tradition. If you do not get married to in the correct manner, all of this will be dropped, bad Karma will follow and you will never end up being released by samara, the series of births, deaths and re-births and atman will never be rejoined with Brahmin. -This is a Hindu’s main goal and thus it is essential to have an arranged marital life.
You do not really know this person you will spend your entire life with. Your husband/wife may well have a problem such as gambling, a health condition or a great alcohol addiction that you would not previously learn about. In appreciate marriages, you have usually been with and lived along with your partner for several years before engaged and getting married and you for that reason will almost certainly understand every detail regarding him/her.
Following weighing the points intended for and against marriage, though I can discover from a Hindu’s standpoint why set up marriages are a good thing, I have one significant disagreement. A Hindu’s key argument for arranged relationships is that it is just a religious stage of life and not a lifestyle choice. As I am not Hindu, I really do not believe this or perhaps other Indio beliefs being true. Therefore I personally argue with organized marriages. I feel that to get married to, you must first take a caring, longstanding marriage with a good bond of trust and love. Relationship, to me, is usually something that displays commitment and love between two people and I find the concept of arranged marriages quite silly. If in my opinion, marriage is a gesture exhibiting a couple’s love and thus surely the couple has to be in love before taking vows of their love to each other?
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